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Season 04/05 Stagsnet Match Report
LDV Vans Trophy Round 2 North
Macclesfield Town  
4 - 0
 Mansfield Town
Barras 10, Parkin 30, 63, Tipton 37
Attendance: 1027 (approx 175 from Mansfield)
Date: 2nd November 2004

As expected Keith Curle fielded a much changed and weaker looking side for this match, McNiven, Neil, Curtis & Ipoua were all `rested' with Pilkington, Baptiste, Asamoah & Larkin all dropping to the bench. They were replaced by youngsters White, Tom Curle, Lloyd & Buxton with Corden, MacKenzie, Murray and O'Neill also joining the starting line up.

After the side put out against Darlington in the first round this wasn't really unexpected but still drew a few moans and groans from the travelling Stags fans.

Macclesfield kicked the game off attacking the open terraced end, Macc had put out a full strength team and were clearly far more up for the game than a laclustre looking Stags side. It took Macc only 6 minutes to create the first good goalscoring change of the night, Woodman's feeble back pass being pounced on by Tipton, White did well to get off his line quickly & narrow the angle forcing Tipton to shot wide of the left hand post.

Macc continued to dominate with Stags offering nothing going forward and leaving the defence under almost constant pressure. After 9 minutes Whittaker had a golden opportunity to put Macc ahead when he received a knock down on the edge of the 6 yard box. But luckily for Stags he dwelt on the ball too long & Artell was able to bundle the ball out for a corner. The respite was short lived however, and from the resulting corner Barras made a late unchallenged run into the box to smash an unstoppable header past White to give Macc the lead. Serious dereliction of duties by whoever was supposed to be picking Barras up, but from the bemused looks on the Stags players faces it was pretty clear none of them had a clue who was supposed to be doing the job.

Three minutes later and things nearly got worse, a breakdown in communication between the normally reliable Artell & Dimech allowed Parkin to steal the ball about 25 yard out where he attempted to chip White, who was well off his line, fortunately for all concerned Parkin under hit the lob into the hands of the grateful White.

On seventeen minutes Stags finally launched a decent attack with Corden doing well to skip past his full back and whip a dangerous looking cross into the box, which evaded the Macc defence and keeper & just zipped past the left hand post. This cross also evaded the Stags attack, mainly because they were nowhere to be seen. With neither Lloyd or O'Neill gambling on Corden getting the ball into the box, both were spectating from the edge of the box as Corden put the ball in.

On twenty minutes a huge punt upfield from Macc's keeper sees Parkin through on goal, but with the big striker bearing down on White's goal Luke Dimech came to the rescue with a superb last ditch tackle. Mansfield immediately went on the counter attack and a good move saw MacKenzie on the edge of the box, seemingly in easy striking range of the goal, but he hung on to the ball looking for a better angle and was easily disposessed but the Macc defence.

On twenty-seven minutes Stags were awarded a free kick about 25 yards out following a foul on Murray, the free-kick clipped the edge of the wall and out for a corner. The resulting corner was headed straight out by a Macc defender for another corner, but the second attempt failed to clear the first defender and was easily dealt with by the Macc defence.

On 30 minutes Macc went two up following a mix up between Dimech & White. Buxton was roasted by the winger who then played a poor cross into the box, Dimech chested it down, clearly expecting White to come and collect, but White stayed on his line and Parkin reacted quickly to pounce on the loose ball and help himself to a tap in. This error seemed to rattle the young keeper and he appeared to be very jittery and nervous for the rest of the half.

On 34 minutes Stags get their one and only shot on target, O'Neill turns well on the edge of the box to lose his marker only to scuff a tame shot along the floor directly to the greatful Macc keeper.

On 37 minutes it was game over when Tipton received the ball on the edge of the box in acres of space, his first touch took him wide, but White showed him far too much of his far post and Tipton, happily slide the ball through the gap to put Macc 3-0 up.

On 41 Buxton swung a cross in from the right, but O'Neill was unable to get any power on his header and it was easily gathered in by the keeper.

On 44 O'Neill tried his luck from fully 30 yards out, but the shot was more of a threat to the residents off the flats behind Moss Rose than it was to the Macc goal.

The last chance of the half fell to Whittaker, who made space for a shot on the edge of the box, but hammered wide.

Half Time: Macclesfield 3 Stags 0

In the opening minute of the first half photographer Dan Westwell headed a ball thrown from the crowd wide of the Macc goal and Stags best chance of the game so far was gone. It wasn't me Dan.

Larkin replaced Callum Lloyd at half time. Lloyd had been impressive in the first round, but had failed to shine tonight and had been largely annonymous during the first half.

On 49 normal service was resumed as MacKenzie was caught in possession on the edge of his own box, Tipton raced clear but shot wide from 15 yards.

On 55 Jake Buxton created Stags best chance of the night when he beat a defender and swung in a superb cross from the right, Larkin raced forward but the ball skimmed accross his forehead and out for a goalkick. Larkin will probably be disappointed that he didn't stick his neck out for the ball, it was literally a millimeter away with the goal undefended.

On 58 Luke Dimech was booked for a heavy tackle on some Macc pansy who surprisingly recovered as soon as the ref waived the yellow card at Dimech.

On 63 Macc went 4 up, with most of the defence AWOL White did very well to block at Tipton's feet, unfortunately for him the ball broke to the unmarked Parkin who had the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net.

Two more Stags players followed Dimech into the book, O'Neill & Artell being the lucky fellers. Artell was replaced soon after by Baptiste, presumable to stop him getting sent off, as he was getting into a number of arguments with a very fussy ref. Asamoah replaced Thomas Curle, who like Lloyd had been very poor compared to his first leg performance. Tommy Curle is in the unfortunate position of being the manager's son & when things aren't going well for the boss, the son has to be twice as good as anyone else to keep the moaners off his back. Sadly tonight TC gave the moaners a bit of a field day.

With something now approaching a first team on the park and Macc Town coasting downhill with their feet on the handle bars, Stags enjoyed some good possession forcing a number of corners, but with nothing to show for it other than a few wayward shots.

On 82 minutes White was very fast off his line to clear from the dangerous Parkin.

Murray became the 4th booking of the night on 85 following a late-ish tackle.

In the final minute Fettis sliced a clearance to Larkin an with the net empty Larkin attempted a first time lob, which fell hopelessly wide.

I don't particularly have a problem with KC playing a weakened team in the LDV, the squad isn't big enough to run the risk of losing players to injury or suspension in a competition which has lost any relevence it ever had. I travelled to Macclesfield, knowing full well when I got there that it would be a `weaker' side than normal. What I do have a problem with is players not being up for the game, you would expect fringe players to be up for games like this as it gives them an opportunity to show the manager that they deserve to be regulars in the first team set up. For me tonight, most of the team seemed to be going through the motions and that is not good enough.

Macclesfield 4 Stags 0

Stags shots on target 1
Shots off target 7
Corners 8

Macc shots on target 6
shots off target 5
Corners 1

Man of the match: Dimech

Report by: Sneag

Line Up:
White, 6 Did ok on his first team debut apart from a jittery 15 minutes at the end of the first half. Recovered well in the second.

Buxton, 6 Turned over easily by the winger a couple of times in the first half, but put two quality crosses into the box that deserved better finishes.

Artell, 6 Solid enough, but could have talked himself into a red card.

Dimech, 7 Decent performance, perhaps should shoulder some responsibility for the second goal, perhaps forgot how inexperienced his keeper was.

Woodman, 6 Caught out of position and in possession a couple of times otherwise ok.

T.Curle, 4 Pretty anonymous, time is on his side though if the crowd keep off his back.

Murray, 5 Didn't look particularly interested.

MacKenzie 5 see Murray. Actually none of the midfield did, if they had it might have taken some pressure off an overworked back 4.

Lloyd 4, Like Curle just didn't get into the game, but shouldn't be too despondent about one poor game.

Corden, 6 Did ok when he had the ball, but won't go and fetch it.

O'Neill 4, I want this lad to do well as long as he is in a Stags shirt, but in three months he's shown nothing. Had poor service tonight, but this is compounded by his poor positional play.
Sub Line Up:
Larkin (for Lloyd, 45) 6 Looked lively for 10 minutes then lost interest, missed Stags best chance.
Asamoah (for T.Curle, 65) Showed more desire to get on the ball in the 10 minutes he was on than most of the side did in 90 minutes.
John-Baptiste (for Artell, 72) Looked very comfortable in his normal centre back role.
Subs Not Used: Langford, Hankey.
Opposition Line Up:
Fettis, Carragher, Barras, Weaver, Harsley, Whitaker, Widdrington, Potter, Parkin (Briscoe 87), Tipton (Swadi Fayadh 74), Sheron (Miles 65). Subs Not Used: Wilson, Welch.
K Friend, Leicestershire

Season 04/05 Reports